The Bruins already know that defenseman Matt Grzelcyk will have a delayed start to the 2022-23 season thanks to his offseason shoulder surgery.
But Boston’s injury woes may extend beyond that — and in a huuuuge way — with the surprising word that top-line winger Brad Marchand may require a hip procedure.
“We’ve got a few other players that have some follow up. Probably one of the bigger surprises is [Marchand] is going to have an evaluation hip-wise so I think he’s got some tests to go,” Bruins general manager Don Sweeney revealed. “We’ve got several other players doing some MRIs. I don’t think there’s any other surgeries that are imminent, but stay tuned in case we have some updates.”
Marchand, who dealt with an AC joint issue late in the regular season following a hit from the Capitals’ Garnet Hathaway, alluded to the issue in year-end availability.
“Potentially, yeah,” the 34-year-old Marchand said when asked if he needed any offseason repairs. “I’m gonna need something done this summer or next summer, but we’ll take a look at that [with the doctors].”
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From the way Marchand is talking about this and seemingly admitting that it’ll have to happen at some point, this sounds similar to the sports hernia injury the 5-foot-9 superstar dealt with for over two years before undergoing surgery in 2020. Perhaps Marchand’s decision depends on what else happens with the Bruins, from the obvious of how he feels and if the pain is manageable to how Patrice Bergeron’s upcoming decision alters the Bruins’ plans and ceiling.
But no matter the path chosen, a hip procedure is never good news when it comes to a quick return to action.
In 2020, David Pastrnak underwent a hip procedure that came with a five-month recovery. John Moore underwent something similar in 2021, and that came with a five-to-six month recovery. The Lightning’s Nikita Kucherov missed an entire regular season due to a hip operation, even if that came with some wink-wink, nudge-nudge doubts from many.
But it’s also important to note that the Bruins, even with their surprise, aren’t thinking doomsday just yet.
“Marchand was probably the one that was a little more surprising of having some adductor issues in the last couple of years and then just doing some work, but he’s doing more exploratory stuff now to confirm that,” Sweeney said. “I didn’t want to have anybody caught off guard. I’m not getting ahead of myself. It wasn’t on the radar when other people spoke, so I certainly felt it was our due diligence to disclose that rather than to be surprised down the road.”
Sweeney added that the Bruins will “cross that bridge when they get there.”
Marchand, who led all Boston skaters with four goals and 11 points in seven postseason contests, is coming off a regular season that included 32 goals and 80 points in 70 games played.
Marchand has been the league’s fourth-highest scoring player since 2016 with 506 points in 420 games, with only Patrick Kane (517), Leon Draisaitl (556), and Connor McDavid (649) posting higher totals over that span.